- 2002 Villa Maria Merlot Reserve - New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay (8/19/2006)
Deep ruby/purple. Not showing too much on the nose; just a bit of plum, boysenberries and a hint of oak. Nice silky texture on the M-F bodied palate, with a sense of elegance about it. Rather closed and primary still, it really seems to need more time. But there's some nice fruit there - earthy plums, chocolate, and smoky blackberries and rasberries. I'll try my last bottle in 3-4 years. (B+/A-)
This wine really doesn't seem to have moved much in the last year and a half since I first tasted it in NZ. There's promise here, but I think a little patience will be rewarded.